Have you ever returned from a vacation feeling exhausted? There are benefits to traveling, but sometimes a quiet week at home is simply the more relaxing and restorative option. Many Americans are opting to save money and reduce their carbon footprint by enjoying a “staycation”.
The staycation is a key piece of jargon these days. As you probably guessed, it’s a hybrid of the words ‘stay’ and ‘vacation,’ which is actually what the noun describes: a vacation which involves staying where you are, or staying close to home.
It’s important to choose an actual beginning and an end to your staycation. Just because you’re staying at home, it’s still a vacation and it’s really important to get into that mindset.
Don’t get stuck on the idea that you’ve been there, done that just because you’re limited to a 100-mile radius. You likely haven’t even scratched the surface, so go into this with a positive attitude.
A staycation doesn’t have to feel second-best to a get-away. With a little planning, your frugal week could be everyone’s favorite “trip.”
10 Staycation Tips
1. Got a friend with a pool? Offer to bring burgers and hot dogs for everyone. You’ve supplied the food, they’ve supplied the pool – everyone’s enjoyed the day.
2. Movie marathon – rent your favorite TV series and watch the whole season over a weekend. Serve “make it yourself” pizzas, set up a sundae bar, and have bowls of buttery popcorn within reach.
3. Be a shutter fly. Take photos of your home town from the perspective of a visitor. Go to the top of the tallest building in your town and admire the view. If you take some especially good shots, you can always enlarge and frame them for gifts.
4. Check out the local country flavor. Join in the watermelon seed spitting contest at the county fair, cheer for the local minor league baseball team, and make a splash at the community pool.
5. Camping in one’s own backyard offers the sights and frights of sleeping beneath the stars, but with none of the hassles of loading up the gear and four-wheeling into the mountains. To make the experience as authentic as possible, make the house off-limits for everything but bathroom breaks.
6. Pamper yourself. If you can’t afford the time or money it would cost to go on a traditional vacation, you can spend a fraction of the money at a day spa getting a heavenly massage that will leave your body relaxed and your mind clear.
7. Be a Hotel Guest. You don’t have to get off an airplane to stay at a hotel. It’s surprisingly relaxing and you can enjoy all the fun things that most of us don’t have in our own homes: room service, brand-new little soaps, whirlpool bath tubs, pools and saunas, fun attractions in walking distance, maid service, etc.
8. Offer your home to a student in a summer exchange program.
9. Volunteer at a senior center and you’re sure to meet people with fascinating stories to tell.
10. Get a season pass to the local water park, zoo, or amusement park.